Jan
28
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Custom Crew in Silver Ice Metallic

2015 Audi Q52020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD Custom Crew

Class: Large Pickup

Miles driven: 216

Fuel used: 19.5 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortA
Power and PerformanceB+
Fit and FinishC+
Fuel EconomyD
ValueB+
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyA
Tall GuyA
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs401-hp 6.6L
Engine TypeV8
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive Wheels4WD

Real-world fuel economy: 11.1 mpg

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: NA

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $43,600 (not including $1595 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Custom Value Package ($1880), gooseneck/5th-wheel package ($1090), black work step ($450), LED roof marker lamps ($55), Custom Value Package Discount (-$250)

Price as tested: $48,420

 

Quick Hits

The great: Cavernous cabin, gutsy 6.6-liter V8 engine

The good: Value pricing for a heavy-duty pickup

The not so good: Fuel economy; low-budget interior ambiance

More Silverado news and reviews

 

John Biel

Like the procession of the seasons, the introduction of a new line of trucks follows a predictable pattern. First comes the high-volume light-duty series—the so-called ½-ton—followed within a year by the “heavy duties.” Far be it from Chevrolet to tempt the marketing fates; having rolled out a new-generation Silverado 1500 for model-year 2019, it closes the loop with 2500 and 3500 HDs for 2020.

Consumer Guide got its first crack at the latest Silverado HD as a 2500 with the 4-door crew cab and 4-wheel drive. The test truck was equipped with the new 6.6-liter gasoline V8 that takes over as the standard 2500/3500 engine, and it was kitted out in Custom trim, which is a fresh addition to the 2500 line.

2020 Chevrolet 2500 Ice Silver

The Custom trim level is one step up from the Silverado’s entry-level WT (Work Truck) model. It adds a few welcome upgrades, such as power-adjustable trailering mirrors and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels.

The 6.6 produces 401 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 464 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, both considerable gains over the 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft developed by the 6.0-liter V-8 that was standard in the prior model. Leaving a stoplight, the engine breathes in loudly, then leans in to a steady surge of growing power as it draws nearer to the torque peak—not that you’d want this mastodon to jump unchecked off the line anyway. Unburdened by load or trailer, which is how CGers drove it, the Silverado 2500 merges with ease and has no problem rolling with free-flowing expressway traffic—on those occasions when said traffic is free flowing. A column-shifted 6-speed automatic transmission transmits power relatively smoothly to a standard 3.73:1-ratio axle.

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2020 Silverado HD Cab

Chevrolet’s redesigned Silverado’s have been criticized for their so-so cabin ambiance compared to class rivals, and the look and feel of lower-line models like our Custom tester is quite austere–which will suit some truck shoppers just fine.

Unfortunately, while this is going on, the fuel tank is being looted with abandon. Note that the 6.6 does not have the cylinder-deactivation functions of the 5.3-liter V8 used in 1500s. Our collective mileage—again, without really working the truck hard—barely touched 11 mpg; this reviewer fell just short of that at 10.94 mpg after going 145.6 miles with 71 percent city-type driving.

Styling is, of course, all new. With it come larger cab and cargo-bed dimensions. The Silverado HD’s capacity for work grows as well. Stacking the tested 2020 “standard-bed” 4×4 crew cab with base V8, transmission, and axle against a ’19 model with those same factors shows these differences:

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Silverado 2500 specs, towing capacity

Regardless of driveline, Silverado HDs have an independent front suspension with a solid axle in back suspended by leaf springs, automatic locking rear differential, trailer-sway control, and a trailer-hitch package with hitch guidance that shows on the in-dash display screen. Four-wheelers add a 2-speed transfer case with electronic push-button controls. Customs feature 20-inch machined alloy wheels with 275/65R20 all-terrain tires. On-pavement ride on the wide, tall-sided rubber is fairly calm and quiet. Then you hit a bump or dip and forcefully jolt the truck and passengers—even inducing a little hop out of the back end absent a load. The Chevy steers a little slowly, but without any wasted motion. The brake pedal is firm but progressive all the way down.

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2020 Silverado Folding Bench

As expected, the Silverado’s cabin space is cavernous in both the front and rear seats. The rear seat bottoms flip forward to create a useful cargo area in the back.

The Custom slots in the 2500 roster just above the utilitarian WT work truck but below the LT, LTZ, and High Country jobs, and it is the only model not available with the optional 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel and 10-speed automatic. CG’s test truck started at $45,195 with delivery, which represents a $2500 premium over the 4WD WT. Aside from its unique wheel-and-tire combination, the Custom adds a body-color grille surround, power-adjustable exterior trailering mirrors, LED taillamps, carpeting, cloth seat trim, cruise control, and remote keyless entry.

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Silverado HD Bed

The five capped holes in the center of the bed floor indicate that our tester is equipped with the optional 5th-wheel trailering package, which also includes a 7-pin trailer harness and a spray-on bedliner.

Even with its clutch of extra features, the Silverado Custom is fairly austere. A single Jet Black color scheme is available for the interior, and there’s almost no relief from the pervasive darkness. Grained hard plastic pretty much covers what isn’t cloth or carpet—the only truly soft-surfaced zones are on the door armrests and the outer edges of the wide, flip-up armrest in the center of the front bench seat. The armrest incorporates molded-plastic cup holders and open trays for small items, but has no internal storage space. (You have to move up to the LT for that.) The lone control on the steering-wheel arms is for the cruise control; even changing radio stations requires contact with the 7-inch color touchscreen of the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.

The basic and easy-to-use Infotainment 3 unit comes with AM/FM stereo radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, but the Custom Value Package applied to the test truck added satellite radio and OnStar connected services. Other standard-equipment items are air conditioning (with convenient temperature and fan-speed dials), configurable “Teen Driver” mode, a USB port, rubberized vinyl floor mats, steps in the corners of the rear bumpers and the bed sides, 12 cargo-bed tiedowns, and front tow hooks. CG’s tester, which came in at $48,420, was outfitted with a gooseneck-hitch/fifth-wheel towing-prep group that includes a spray-on bedliner.

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Black Work Step

Access to the pickup bed is made a bit easier by handy steps built into the bedside and the corners of the rear bumper. Our truck was also equipped with the $450 dealer-installed black work steps for the cab.

The crew cab interior is exceedingly spacious in either row, with true 3-wide passenger room on both of the test truck’s bench seats. Stepping in to a 4×4 Custom is a tall order, so accessory side steps like those on CG’s tester will come in handy. Drivers are informed by a full array of legible analog gauges, with large speedometer and tachometer dials at either end of a cluster topped by a strip of four smaller ancillary gauges. Personal-item storage is handled by upper and lower glove boxes, plus large map pockets with cup holders in all doors. The rear 60/40-split seat cushion flips up to turn the floor into a wide interior storage space.

Bringing the Silverado HDs up to the latest specifications gives them more capability than they’ve had before. The 2500 Custom gives HD buyers a chance to tap that capability in something better than basic, but a shade cheaper than the next step up the line.

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

As equipped, our 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 test vehicle doesn’t offer that many frills, but a heavy-duty pickup truck with a bottom-line sticker price of less than $50K counts as something of a bargain in 2020.

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500